Target overload

2013-12-25

Instead of one monolithic reflection on Dev Bootcamp delivered in a single 10,000 word explosion, it seems that my reflections are starting to come to me in a more piecemeal fashion.

This one is about my feelings and perceptions not even 3 weeks out from graduating.

I feel lucky. I've had to good fortune to be lumped in with an amazing group of people. An amazing community. I've made friends, not just "connections".

I feel prepared, but realistic. I know that I am green as hell. I know that every employer out there will immediately realize that. I know that a fair few established developers I meet will mock or snicker at my friends and I. I fully anticipate being rejected out of hand by >85% of the firms I apply with.

This, again, is just how it goes. Therefore, I'm trying to focus my emotional energy elsewhere: reinforcing previous topics and learning about new ones.

And this something of the problem, coming out of DBC. There are so many things that I don't yet know, but feel I am now capable of learning with some dedicated effort. And I'm having the damnedest time focusing on one thing at a time. Here's a little list (unordered) of topics I'm keen on:

  • getting good at testing (BDD, RSpec, Cucumber, etc)
  • C
  • functional JavaScript
  • an internal tool for my brother
  • Scheme
  • Node
  • a Rails or Sinatra app for reinforcement
  • a publish/subscribe Ruby chat app using sockets
  • another WebRTC project
  • Websockets
  • Processing
  • Python
  • a JVM language (Scala, Clojure, etc; not Java)
  • finish a course on encryption theory
  • more algorithm/data structure construction (sorts, trees, graphs, etc.)

Right now I'm pushing myself hard in the direction of RSpec and BDD, and then using that to build a chat app, But I find myself going down rabbit holes whenever I open my computer: "Oh man! Python is the place to be/wouldn't Clojure be neat?/I need to focus on JS/C would be fun!/I need more algorithm && data structure practice." And I end up reading about something for 4 hours without actually doing it.

This has been ravaging my productivity lately, and I hate it. If anybody has any suggestions as to how to manage this sort of feeling, or any tips about which things to prioritize given my skill and situation (green and jobless), I'd absolutely be receptive to that conversation.